Enabling Digital Equity and Inclusion

  • Published: Monday, Feb. 1, 2021

Digital literacy is an important skill to continue to develop in the world we live in today. With more Missourians connected than ever before, MOREnet is proud to work with and support our members to prepare and enable Missourians to safely and effectively navigate and leverage the digital world that connectivity enables.

The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” We will discuss the following aspects of digital literacy and provide helpful resources that MOREnet offers its members for each:

  • Knowing how to use technology
  • Knowing how to protect yourself and your data online
  • Knowing how to create content
  • Knowing how to consume content you interact with

Harnessing the Power of Technology

Often the most frustrating part about technology is the fact that it is always changing, and there is always a new device or application available. While this is great in one sense, people often feel they are continually needing to learn something new to get their tasks done.

MOREnet Member Resource:

MOREnet members have access to a variety of online resources through search.more.net. One specific tool that is great for learning new technologies and computer applications is the Computer Skills Center available through the LearningExpress Library resource. You can use the materials to learn the basics of computers, from searching the Internet to using popular programs for word processing, creating spreadsheets and databases, implementing design, and more.

Protecting Yourself, Others, and Data Online

Learning how you impact others and your future self by posting and commenting online is a vital part of digital literacy in today’s social media age. It’s important for students and adults alike to know how to stay safe, protect their privacy and understand their digital footprint.

MOREnet Member Resource:

The MOREnet Cybersecurity team works year-round to educate our members on best practices and current events in the cybersecurity world. Be sure to check out the MOREnet blog for all the cybersecurity content, the MOREnet Cybersecurity Twitter account for daily links, and subscribe to the weekly Cybersecurity Newsletter to stay in the know about what is happening in the world of cybersecurity.

In addition, the Cybersecurity team offers trainings and software to better equip you and your staff to combat cybersecurity attacks on your organization.

Being the Creator

Another aspect of digital literacy is becoming a responsible content creator. By knowing where to find and evaluate appropriate content, we can create our own materials through blogs, podcasts, videos and more. This even goes beyond the digital world to creating accurate papers and projects in classrooms and boardrooms alike, while respecting and acknowledging the works of others that we may choose to include.

MOREnet Member Resource:

At search.more.net, you can find a wide variety of unique materials to use for research and education purposes. The eBook selection provides diverse reading options to expand your world and thought process. In addition, the search and reference eBook collection provides a solid foundation from which to research a variety of information.

The MOREnet training team also offers a variety of trainings on video, podcast, and blog production. If these products are something you are looking to offer in the future, be sure to check out the online trainings currently being offered at more.net/trainingschedule.

Developing an Eye for Accurate Content

Today, we don’t have to look far to hear someone talking about “fake news.” Information is being sent out into the world at staggering rates, and it is up to us to determine what is worth consuming, what is accurate and what is simply being said to further an agenda. Establishing media literacy by teaching students and patrons how to critically evaluate information and search for information effectively is a great tool they will use throughout their lives.

MOREnet Member Resource:

At the MOREnet Annual Conference, we strive to bring in experts that help develop this sort of skill, as well as, train our members how to take the information back to their work setting. This past year, one of our keynote speakers, Julie Smith, had a session about decerning information during a pandemic. Be sure to check out her website at heyjuliesmith.com and watch for more great resources from MOREnet.

Again, having a strong portfolio of vetted resources, like those found at search.more.net, at the disposal of students and patrons is a great way to ensure they are getting diverse information that will help them develop the skills they need to be successful in the digital space.